Adobe HTML5 Camp 2011
I was recently lucky enough to be able to attend the Adobe HTML5 Camp in the UK which took place on , and I must say I enjoyed it immensely. There were some great speakers (and one not so great) and I learnt a lot more about some of the products that Adobe (and Google) were showcasing.
The State of the Web - Jeremy Keith
Now I'm not someone you would consider as being a massive fan of Adobe products. Photoshop is slow and clunky and suffers from bloat, Illustrator has not improved greatly over the years and has some odd quirks and Flash is a bubmling behemoth full of features I'm not going to use with an interface that looks like it's been designed by someone whoknows that they'll never have to use the program. Obviously, it was going to take more than a few extra features to change my mind about their products in general. Some of my sentiment to their software was echoed by the first speaker, Jeremy Keith, who gave a talk on "The State of the Web". Jeremy wasn't a fan of some of their software either, albeit for different reasons. He started talking about general design practices when creating websites, which led to him talking about the typical attitude as he saw it towards the design process.
Jeremy argued that products like Dreamweaver make the development process harder, as it (and software like it) is not a WYSIWYG tool, but a WYSIWTF. After the initial titters from the audience died down, he explained why he felt this way, and a good argument he made. Each time we use software like Dreamweaver to develop a website, or Photoshop to draw up a design, we are imposing false limits on the web canvas to exert some control over the medium. We feel that we have some control over the size of the screen the visitors are using, we make assumptions on the capabilities of their browsers, we even make the assumption that they are using a screen to visit the website, which reflects on something I've believed for a long time, accessibility is key.
The power of the web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.
He made the very valid point that you can't make any such assumptions, and that it's just now with the abundance of mobile devices and tablets that we are really seeing that there is nothing about our visitors that we can take for granted. I must admit, I was among the group that felt that a few media queries in my CSS would handle the visual variety of devices out there and accessible code would handle the rest. I realised after his talk that there's a whole lot more to it than that, as tools such as the W3C mobileOK Checker show (and incidentally I'll be addressing those issues on my own site soon.)
Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.5 - Greg Rewis
The next speaker was the worldwide Adobe Creative Suite evangelist Greg Rewis. His talk was all on Dreamweaver CS 5.5, introducing its new features. Aside from his incorrect statement that it's a simple process of converting an existing HTML4 website to HTML5 by jsut changing the doctype (as I found out when all my previous blog posts that had used the
<acronym> tag were failing the W3C Validator) the talk was quite good. I like the new live view option available which uses a built in WebKit rendering engine, although I do worry that some people may assume it replaces the job of proper testing (IE, Opera, Fx anyone?). The mobile app development is particularly useful, and the way it integrates with Jquery Mobile and Phone Gap particularly nice. If you use Dreamweaver already then you'll probably want to upgrade. If not, there's nothing in this version that you can't do without it, but it does make things easier and brings a lot of tools into one platform.
Chrome Developer Tools - Sam Dutton
Edge Demo - Mark Anders
How does Adobe Help with HTML5 Developement? - Bhakti Pingale
Lastly she spoke about some new CSS regions for flowing text, with some simple examples, of flowing text into containers and wrapping around custom shapes. I can see where this would be useful, as CSS has lacked any sort of support for this beyond basic floating and box-wrapping.
The camp was great, and while I'm likely to only use one of their (Adobe's that is, I was already using Google Chrome) products that appeared in the seminar (I'll give you a clue, it's not Muse!) I am talking about them to people, so Adobe (and Google) can count this as a success on their part too.